GVSB gets Freaky on major-label debut

Dan Belenkov

Contributing Writer

Record

Review

Girls Against Boys

Freak*on*ica

(Geffen Records)

Freak*on*ica (** out of ***** stars) is the first major-label release from indie-rock darlings Girls Against Boys. GVSB (the "stylish" way to write the band's name, according to press releases) has a fairly large underground following, so I prepared myself to be amazed. I wasn't.

I have to be fair and say this isn't my type of music. It's fairly high in sampling other people's music (almost to the point where I could have sworn the guitar riff was straight out of a Rage Against the Machine song) and does so without much creativity.

Now, I don't have a problem with sampling - hell, I love Soul Coughing and the Beastie Boys. But there's a difference. The sound reminded me of clubbing. True, this was partially intended by the producers and musicians, but it's still not my thing.

So the CD is in and the volume is on high. I am suddenly hit with a wall of sound that just made me want to move. The first song, "Park Avenue," is my favorite on the album. Then I heard the second track, "Pleasurized," which is where the album took its mood from for the rest of its duration. I'm suddenly hearing heavy club beats and grooves.

After about two minutes of this, I couldn't take anymore and went on to track three, then track four, then track five and so on. The album had a running theme of having either the whole nightclub thing going or some seriously lifted Rage Against the Machine guitar rhythms.

So if this sounds like your kind of thing, then by all means buy it. In its favor, both my roommate and Mark Howell (sales rep at CD Warehouse) loved it, and neither were fans before hearing it. I, however, will definitely pass it by.

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